LARGE parts of Huddersfield and Calderdale remained on flood alert last night after a horrendous day of torrential rain.
Many householders and businesses were warned to take action as flood warnings were put on several rivers in the area by the Environment Agency.
Roads were blocked by flood water – in some cases more than two feet deep – and sandbags were taken out to help properties lying close to fast-flowing rivers.
The Environment Agency said prolonged and very heavy rain was causing serious problems across Yorkshire, the north Midlands, far north-east of Wales and northern England.
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“In those areas where severe disruption is possible, there could be widespread flooding affecting significant numbers of properties and whole communities with a potential danger to life and a risk of motorists becoming stranded,” said a spokesman..
Damage to buildings and structures was said to be “quite likely” in the worst areas and motorists were warned to expect travel disruption and road closures.
They included the northbound slip road of the M1 near Denby Dale, hit by flooding.
The Met Office issued an amber warning of severe weather for the region.
By yesterday evening the Environment Agency had 50 flood warnings in place, with 59 in the north-east region including Yorkshire.
There were a further 112 flood alerts.
The warnings affected many parts of Huddersfield.
They included the River Colne at Marsden, Slaithwaite, Linthwaite, Milnsbridge, Aspley and Bradley Mills; the River Calder at Mirfield and Brighouse; Fenay Beck at Spa Bottom and Fenay Bridge; Dean Bottom Dike at Kirkburton; Woodsome Beck at Woodsome Bridge; and the River Spen at Liversedge and Littletown..
Yorkshire Water drafted in extra staff to cope with problems.
They were checking on all drainage systems to try and avoid flood problems.
They were called out to more than 140 properties yesterday to help with flooding clean-ups.
Some calls were to houses in Dewsbury and Thornhill, where cellars were flooded.
Staff worked with council teams from Kirklees and Calderdale to distribute sandbags to areas at risk.
There were flood problems in Huddersfield Road,Battyeford, and spokesman at the Pear Tree pub said: “The flooding has been quite bad.
“Some cars were coming through here but others were just braking and pulling up on the side of the road because they couldn’t get through.
“It wasn’t coming from the river, it was coming out of the drains”.
Concerns from residents spread across social media site Twitter.
Readers' pictures of the downpours and floding here. Video footage on page 3.
@HTAFCSingh: Never seen so much rain in Huddersfield.
Ian Schofield@cppugwash said:
Thunder and lightning and HEAVY rain here in Huddersfield.
Riasca Print4Labour@RiascaP4Labour tweeted:
M62 was not fun in the #rain this morning. Saw results of a nasty smash on hard shoulder. What a lovely summer's day in #Huddersfield...
Jayne Senior wrote: torrential rain in Huddersfield with a thunderstorm thrown in....aarrgghhh
Andy Radford @andyrad29 tweeted: like night time here in Huddersfield rumbles of thunder and HEAVY rain! #timetobuildanark
hiz@hayledon wrote: Does Huddersfield think its some sort of tropical island with all this monsoon style rain.
FRIDAY, July 6, 2012, looks set to go down in history as Huddersfield’s wettest day.
Torrential rain for most of the day had experts scouring the record books.
And with rain falling well into the night it looked odds-on that the total for the day would exceed the 62mm recorded back in 1928.
By 4pm yesterday a staggering 60mm – or 2½inches – of rain had fallen on the town.
Much of that fell in thunderstorms in the three hours between 6am and 9am, which caused major problems on the roads as thousands tried to get to work.
The rainfall yesterday was almost equivalent to the whole month’s average for July, of 70mm.
Huddersfield weather expert Paul Stevens said: “The Met Office has been using the word exceptional and that’s probably the best way to describe things.
“I have been searching through the records I have going back 100 years and it certainly looks as if this could be the wettest day.
“We are talking of rainfall of tropical levels, with more than two inches falling in a few hours.
“And there is more on the way. There was another bank of heavy rain building up over the North Sea late yesterday afternoon which would hit Huddersfield during the evening and night.
“And for today, although we will hopefully see one or two warm and sunny spells, there could well be more slow-moving heavy thunderstorms to bring even more rain.
“Sunday will again be much of the same, with dry spells interspersed with prolonged heavy rain”.
The downpour came after a sodden June which saw figures in Huddersfield fall just short of the record for the month.
But we are a long way behind the UK record. An unprecedented downpour over Cumbria in November 2009 was the highest level of rainfall measured in the country since records began.
The record-breaking rainfall reached 314mm (12.4 inches) in 24 hours.